That is exactly what the folks at the nonprofits New Ocean Blue and the Wyland Foundation are doing at the La Jolla Library on Sept. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. — turning blighted, potential pollutants into a creative, collaborative community masterpiece.
The Wyland Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting, protecting and preserving the world’s oceans, waterways and marine life, has donated an oversize canvas that community members of all ages can fill in by attaching plastic trash collected at local San Diego beaches.
“The nonprofits decided to hold this event in La Jolla because it is an active coastal community that is greatly involved in marine issues,” said New Ocean Blue representative, Megan Chang-Haines. “The citizens of La Jolla have a unique perspective because the ocean is woven so much into their daily lives.”
Not only will La Jolla participants help to create a masterpiece for temporary display in the library, but they will also learn about how plastic pollution affects the oceans, marine life and humans. Nonprofit representatives will hold a panel discussion to educate participants about the detriment plastic waste can have on the environment and what strategies can be taken to reduce the use of plastic in daily activities through simple changes to everyday habits.
“We hope that the community will realize that single-use plastic is forever and — for the benefit of all — we need to steer away from using it,” said Chang-Haines. “We hope that they realize that plastic can greatly harm ecosystems if it is in the ocean, where much of it ends up.”
The fun and educational community event will feature interactive activities and hands-on learning experiences for kids and adults of all ages and interests. Upon completion of the artwork, the La Jolla Library will showcase the finished canvas, which will be on display until early November — hopefully enticing people to make simple changes to their everyday lifestyles to prevent plastic pollution from becoming a greater problem.
“This is the first event of a larger series. We hope to bring ‘Trash to Art’ to other San Diego communities. We are currently in the process of planning the event with several other libraries,” said Chang-Haines. “We plan on expanding our audience across San Diego to increase awareness about plastic pollution and the garbage patches.”
The La Jolla Library is located at 7555 Draper Ave. For more information, visit www.newoceanblue.org.